California girls steal the show
Kessy and Ross were one of four women’s teams to reach the
quarterfinals on the first day of the knockout rounds, beating
Switzerland’s Simone Kuhn and Nadine Zumkehr in straight sets. The
round of 16 had started with an all-German affair, Sara Goller and
Laura Ludwig beating Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler while Larissa
and Juliana knocked out Dutch lucky losers Madelein Meppelink and
Sophie van Gestel.
Reflecting on the match and their Olympic experience, van Gestel said:
“This is the last match for us, so we’re a little upset and sad as well.
We’re happy that we played really well in the second set. Looking
back, we showed some good play at moments so we can be content.”
Austrian sisters Doris and Stefanie Schwaiger, having become the only
team ever to take an Olympic set off May-Treanor and Walsh in pool
play, booked their place in the last eight for a second consecutive
Olympics after seeing off the challenge of Russia’s Anastasia Vasina
and Anna Vozakova in three sets.
Meanwhile Marketa Slukova and Kristyna Kolocova of the Czech
Republic recorded the biggest win of their career, knocking out fifth
seeds Talita Antunes and Maria Antonelli of Brazil 21-16, 20-22, 15-9.
“We were so happy to get through the pool and get a 16th place
finish,” Slukova said. “We’ve never beaten this team and it is just
great to be at the Olympics. Kristyna played amazing in the pool play
and I knew that it was my turn and I had to take over because she
wasn’t feeling well today.”
In the last eight Larissa and Juliana were given a scare but held their
nerve to beat Goller and Ludwig 21-10, 21-19. Kessy and Ross beat
Slukova and Kolocova 25-23, 21-18; May-Treanor and Walsh were too
good for Italy’s Greta Cicolari and Marta Menegatti; while Zhang and
Xue reached the last four by defeating the Schwaiger sisters.
Kessy and Ross fought back from a set down in the semifinals to beat
Larissa and Juliana 15-21, 21-19, 15-12, while Walsh and May-Treanor
were taken to the wire in two sets by Zhang and Xue before winning
22-20, 22-20. Then, of course, they went on to re-write history in a
never-to-be-forgotten finale.
Full results, page 60
Larissa and Juliana were hoping to add to their 2011 World Championship title
Italy’s Marta Menegatti, who with Greta Cicolari fell to May-Treanor
and Walsh in the quarterfinals